Scientific studies at the Cordwalles School in Camberley have been making something of a buzz after the school’s new Phiz Lab teaching facilities were opened.
The state-of-the-art laboratory was built in a refurbished old building with the help of scientific education charity the Ogden Trust, and now features an interactive Mimo board, four scientific display cabinets and brand new equipment and the latest learning technology.
“The impact has been very quick and very noticeable – people are really sitting up and taking notice,” said Cordwalles’s science leader Natalie Betteridge.
“Within days of the laboratory opening, we secured a long-term loan agreement for display items from the Farnborough Air Science Museum, which I don’t think would have happened without the new Lab, and when I went for some training at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley Gardens the other week, they’d heard about it too and were keen to find out more.”
The Lab has also proved a popular hit with staff and pupils at the school. “People feel a lot more enthused about teaching and learning about science,” Ms Betteridge explained.
“We now have a dedicated space which is used daily and it is a space we are all excited to use. As the space is purpose-built it means that we can easily access equipment and carry out a wide range of hands-on learning which we may have been hesitant to do in the past in our class rooms.
“The relationship with Ogden Trust also ensures that myself and another teacher will receive CPD and ongoing support which we can then teach the rest of our staff and ensure that the excitement continues."
Cordwalles is part of the GLF Schools multi-academy trust, an organisation which runs over 20 schools across the south east of England, and is one of three GLF schools – the others being Hillcroft in Caterham and Danetree Primary in West Ewell – to have received support from the Ogden Trust to help its scientific teaching.
“The opening day itself was hugely enjoyable, and the wonderful thing is that we have kept the momentum up since then,” Ms Betteridge said.
“All the feedback we’ve had from everyone who’s seen the labs has been really positive, and families are excited that their children will have greater learning opportunities, and are genuinely excited about learning science. Even if it’s not their science day, they still want to go to the lab! The children feel trusted and proud of it, so I think the Lab is going to become a very significant part of school life for years to come.”
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